In order to lose stomach fat, you have build up some lean muscle as well as burn off a lot of energy. For this reason, it's important to focus on effective, fat-burning exercises that take advantage of your body's natural chemistry and are also going to build up your muscle tone. Contrary to popular belief, doing hundreds of situps every week won't give you a lean, flat stomach, because they build up the muscle underneath without removing any fat. The best way to lose that stomach fat at home is to combine tough cardio sessions with regular resistance training.
Sprinting, surprisingly, is one of the best ways to lose fat from your stomach area. A study in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" found that sprinting triggers a hormonal response that boosts fat burning all over the body, including in the abdominal area. Another study, published in the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" found that sprinting burns more fat than virtually any other kind of exercise. And the reason sprinting has such a positive effect on the abdominal muscles is that they are all furiously working throughout a sprint, both to stabilize your internal organs and to keep your body upright and rigid for the duration of the sprint. To perform a good sprint set, run as hard as you can for 20 to 30 seconds, then rest 10 seconds. Repeat this eight or 10 times.
Exercise Ball Forward Crunches
Exercise ball crunches are an effective way to target the rectus abdominis -- the "six-pack" muscle -- and the internal obliques -- the muscles that connect your rectus abdominis to your pelvic area. Doing regular crunches on the exercise ball will tighten up the rectus abdominis and internal obliques, helping to flatten the appearance of your stomach and reduce the fat in your lower abdomen. To perform a regular crunch, sit on the exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Crossing your arms over your chest, tighten your stomach muscles and lean back until your back is fully resting on the ball, then sit back up. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions of this exercise per set, with three sets per workout.
Exercise Ball Side Crunches
Side crunches on the exercise ball will work the external obliques -- the muscles on either side of your torso -- helping to reduce your love handles and the fat around your ribs. In order to perform a side crunch, balance on your side with one hip on the exercise ball, making sure your body is stable and at a 45-degree angle with the floor. With your hands resting behind your head, bend your body over the ball toward the floor, then come back up to straight. Perform 10 to 15 of these per side, per set, with three sets per workout.
Plank Variations and Recommendations
The plank, and all its variations, are great for working the stomach muscles. It's a tough resistance exercise, so it will also contribute to the fat-burning process. To perform a regular plank, lie flat on the floor, then raise yourself up on your toes and forearms and hold, keeping your body in a straight line. If you want to increase the difficulty, you can hold the plank in the pushup position, or you can rock back and forth on your forearms for the duration of the hold. Start with a 30-second plank, three times per set, with three sets per workout. In order to get the best results from these exercises, combine your ab workouts with your sprint sessions, two to three times per week. A few minutes of sprinting, followed by three rounds of these exercises, will help you burn stomach fat in two months.
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